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Skincare Tips Every 20-Something Needs to Know

You have beautiful, supple, glowing skin and you know this because your selfies tell you so. If I can draw you away from your cell phone for just a little while, I would like to explain how to keep it that way.

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As you age, the way you treat your skin now will reflect on how it appears in the future.

picture of clean face of beautiful girl

Sun Damage

  • Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen…..Nothing weathers your skin more than the sun; damaging rays speed up the aging process by slowing down collagen production which forces skin to lose its elasticity. Look for a moisturizing sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher which also provides broad-spectrum protection (meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays). Makeup containing sunscreen is not protection enough.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Tanned skin is a result of skin cell damage and can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer called Melanoma which is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old and is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25 to 30 years old. The use of tanning beds is so risky that several countries, including Brazil, Australia, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Austria, have made it either entirely illegal or imposed age restrictions to keep younger people from using them.
  • Click this link to find out more about the dangers of the sun and of tanning beds from the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Makeup

  • Try not to fall asleep without removing your makeup, but if that nap after work is just calling your name, keep some makeup removing wipes by the bed.
  • Wash your makeup brushes regularly using a mild shampoo and warm water and lay them out to dry flat on a towel before reusing.
  • Evaluate your makeup every once in a while to see if it is still satisfactory. If it shows a crust or change in texture, smells odd or the color is off, it needs to be replaced. Here are some general guidelines: lipstick, eyeshadow and powders can last up to two years; liquid foundation up to one year; mascara up to three months.
  • Click this link to find out more about makeup at the Bustle On-line Magazine.

Freckles

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  • These are harmless but are sometimes confused with more serious skin problems. They show on the skin as small flat spots appearing slightly darker than the surrounding area which is caused by the absorption of the sun’s UV (ultra-violet) rays triggering an excess production of melanin, the pigment that regulates skin color. Anyone who has one or more pigmented spots of which they are not certain should consult a doctor or dermatologist.
  • Freckles are rarely treated but several safe methods are available to help lighten or reduce their appearance. Not everyone’s skin will improve with treatment, and freckles often recur with additional UV exposure. Bleaching or fading creams containing hydroquinone and kojic acid, combined with a retinoid over a period of months may lighten the appearance of freckles. Cryosurgery, laser treatments or chemical peels are quicker but more expensive options.
  • Click this link to find out more about freckles at Medicine Net.

Acne

  • The formation of acne begins when the lining of a pore in the skin begins to produce skin cells at a rate higher than normal. Dead skin cells then accumulate in the pore faster than the sebum (oil secreted by the sebaceous gland at the base of a pore) can push them to the surface. Then, the oily sebum gets trapped under dead skin, along with acne bacteria.
  • The bacteria that cause acne are already on your skin and washing your face twice daily will help reduce these bacteria as well as removing surface oil and helping to exfoliate dead skin cells. But, excessive washing and scrubbing can in fact make your acne worse by causing irritation, scratches and tiny tears in the skin, all of which open the gates to more inflammation and possible infection.
  • Click this link to find out more about acne at Facing Acne.

General Tips

  • Drinking alcohol dehydrates your skin and lowers antioxidant defenses which make you more susceptible to sun damage.
  • Lack of sleep can have the same effect, so aim for at least seven hours a night.
  • Smoking has been shown to deplete moisture, making skin lose its luster and appear wrinkled.

So, now that you are a non-smoking, tea drinker, wearing a stylish sunhat and swimsuit coverup to the beach or pool, you can be assured that those selfies will continue to show your beautiful skin as supple and glowing for years to come.

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